This week I interview Colin Andrews, principal of Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand. Mr. Andrews is inspiring. He is doing so much cool stuff, we didn't have time to get to everything.
- We start by talking about the learning fellowship that Mr. Andrews did many years ago. A four way study looking at transition from elementary to middle and then to high school.
- Forest, outdoor classroom, pest control, projects all directed by the kids.
- Envirokids, through process of inquiry and student voice that create amazing things.
- Pathway and other Envirokids project
- It is the ability of the teacher to be able to spot a question and really pursue it.
- Structure of envirokids: two-three blocks of time on Fridays, one teacher, about 30 kids.
- Working days for the families, kids need to bring one parent with them to participate in the work day (on the weekend).
- How to make manual labor sound exciting?
- 4 Ethics - Academics, cultural, sporting, and service to the community. Recognized through everything they do all the year long.
- Role of the advisor of Envirokids. One teacher teaches all academic subjects, so she changes her teaching on Friday to focus on the Envirokids.
- How Colin hires great teachers
- Colin doesn't ask any interview questions, he just listens to his VPs ask all the questions.
- An online form for parents to fill out student's absences.
- How Colin inspires people to be the best they can be and ensure students have global, authentic connections.
- Sister schools in China, Korea, Japan, mainland USA and Kodiak, AK.
- How he gets connections with other schools in the country.
- How he took the school from $800 in the bank when he started to $200K for materials and PD.
- Global connections so kids can think about how to talk to kids across the ocean.
- Goal to connect each class to two overseas classrooms.
- Picks books relevant to his locale's native culture and other native cultures in the other schools and share them with the students.
- How Colin started connecting with the schools he partners with now (No mention of Twitter!)
- How to be a transformative principal: Open doors for other people. "Give it a Go"
- What keeps him going: his grandchildren.
- Connect with Colin